Our Lady of Lebanon

Lebanon was supposed to be a Christian state. After World War I a mandate was issued by the League of Nations to France – they were requested to create a new state as a home for the Maronite Christians on the ground of today’s Lebanon. But within this État de Grand Liban there were also some regions with a Muslim majority which wanted to be united with Syria. A source of great conflicts that even became worth when a lot of Arabic refugees arrived from Palestine.

In 1956 the Maronites formed the majority in Lebanon: 54 % of the inhabitants were Christians. Today the percentage is expected to be 39 % – a minority in contrast to the 59 % of the inhabitants who are Muslims. Nevertheless, Christianity plays an important role and there is no place like the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon at حريصا to experience this. On top of this shrine, you can see an 8.5 meters high statue of Virgin Mary and like in a spiral you can walk up to her feet.

The area next to the shrine is a holy and protected place with cedars, a modern church and the opportunity to light candles. It was inaugurated in 1908 and even the pope gets here when he visits the country. From there – 650 meters above sea level – you can experience great views on Jounieh bay. If you’ve got the chance, get here once at daytime and once in the late evening. You can drive up by car but the car park is narrow and always full. An alternative is the téléphérique; a gondola lift that can bring you up in combination with a short inclined elevator.

Our Lady of Lebanon
حريصا / Harissa

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